EDITED to add video at the bottom!
A few weeks ago I was shopping for birthday gifts in Anthropologie when I came across a gorgeous faux-fur cowl. It was sooo soft and warm, and even though it was a bazillion degrees outside, I wanted it. I wanted it bad.
Then I looked at the price tag and saw it was $48. That’s a lot of money for me to spend on something that, in Southern California, I won’t get a ton of use out of. But then my wheels started turning. I remembered seeing a similar fabric at the local fabric and crafts store (JoAnn), and I decided I could make a cowl myself. I told Mike my idea and he said, “You take some sewing classes and suddenly you can do anything?” I reminded him that this idea was going to save money and voilà! He was on board. I went to JoAnn and found an almost identical faux fur fabric in several colors, and it was on sale for $8/yard.
It ended up being really easy to make the cowl, and I thought I’d share how I did it. I am definitely no clothing or sewing expert, but hopefully if you’re interested in making this I can save you some money! These are directions for sewing by hand – I don’t have a sewing machine (ahem, Santa Claus), and it would have been SO much easier with one. That being said, it’s obviously possible to make this cowl without one!
You will need 37″ x 25″ of the fabric of your choice
Seam gauge or tape measure
Fabric marking pen or pencil
If you didn’t get your fabric pre-cut to size, do that first! Then, fold your fabric in half with the fur on the inside. Make sure you’re folding fabric so that your new dimensions are 37″ by 12.5″.
Using a seam gauge or tape measure, mark your seam allowance. I marked about half an inch for mine, along the longest (37-inch) part of the fabric.
Pin your fabric together so it doesn’t move while you sew, then get to sewing. Use small, tight stitches. Like, so small you will moan, “I wish I had a sewing machine, this is taking forever!” But only say it out loud once, because Santa can take a hint. Make sure you only sew the length (making a long tube), leaving the shorter ends open.
After you sew the length, pull one end of the fabric through the opening on the other end.
Fold the fabric in half, twisting it once, then line up the edges.
Both openings should be on top of each other now. Pin the two middle sides to each other, mark your seam allowance (I used half an inch again) and sew. As you work your way around the circle, move your straight pins to help you hold the fabric in place.
Eventually you’ll get to the point where you can’t sew “from the inside” anymore. When that happens, tuck the edges in and sew from the outside. The fake fur will help hide and disguise your thread.
My finished cowl looks so much like the one at Anthropologie and the couple of times it was cool enough here to wear it, I received lots of compliments. Someone even asked me if I’d bought it at Anthropologie!
Annabel is obsessed with it.
Wearing a cowl with a tank top, just like a Southern Californian. The day I took this picture it was 90 degrees outside. In November. Get it together, LA.
Let me know if you have any questions. Have fun sewing!
Due to popular demand, here is the video tutorial. Hopefully it helps to clear up confusion. Please ignore my voice, I am completely stuffed up.
If you can’t see the video above, click here.